Going Green is not just a trend. It’s a priority for all of us if we want to continue to live on a beautiful, life-giving planet. Thinking of ways of going green, however, is not always easy. Just because we buy organic food and recycle doesn’t necessarily mean we’re making much of a practical impact. We need to have a whole plan for Going Green. One element in that plan should be buying eco-friendly products or Pasadena. But how do we find eco-friendly products? Well, one way is to buy products made from renewable resources.
Buying products made from renewable resources should be a priority for each of us when going green. These types of eco-friendly products insure that we don’t use earth’s resources too quickly. We need to let our planet replenish it’s natural resources at the same rate as we are consuming them.
So, what are good eco-friendly products– products made from renewable resources?
Here’s a list of 10 types of products made from renewable resources:
1. Paper products- while these should be used sparingly, they are better than plastic in that they are biodegradable and come from renewable trees
2. Cotton products
3. Spudware- biodegradable cutlery made from potatoes, corn, and soy oils
4. Solar energy- solar panels on your house, solar battery chargers, etc.
5. Bio-based tableware- for example, plates and bowls made by Earthshell
6. Bamboo products- bamboo furniture, bamboo cotton clothes, etc. (a good alternative to other tree products, as bamboo is highly renewable because of it’s fast rate of growth)
7. Digital products- Highly reproducible, long-lasting, only needing the support of electricity
8. Wind energy- support wind energy development in your city, county, and state; consider getting electricity from wind power at your home.
9. Bio-based fuels- while not always the most sustainable option, they are renewable
10. Plant-based cleaners- great products made from renewable resources to help you in going green and healthier for your body
Here are 5 products not made from renewable resources that should be avoided:
1. Plastics- while renewable plastics are being researched, currently plastics are made from petroleum a non-renewable resource
2. Many paper cups and plates- while the paper is renewable, the plastic coating is from petroleum and makes the product take about 500 years to biodegrade
3. Wood in furniture or other products from old-growth rainforests- while these are technically renewable, the amount of carbon released into the environment and the incredibly slow rate at which they replenish themselves makes them for all practical purposes non-renewable and definitely not eco-friendly products.
4. Energy from oil and coal- gasoline products and coal-based energy are highly non-renewable; unfortunately, much of our electricity currently comes from coal. Consider the switch to solar or wind energy in your home as your first big step in going green.
So continue on the path to going green by changing your purchasing habits. Decide to buy products made from renewable resources.
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Given the amount of information out there about "going green" or buying "eco-friendly", it's difficult to know what's important and what's not. Ultimately, we all must make decisions we can live with based on the information we have at that point.
At Every Little Bit, we use the following 5 criteria to assess the true "greenness" of a product:
Ideally, the product should be produced closer to home, so it travels less distance to reach the customers, reducing the emissions and gas consumed, excess packaging needed for travels, and in the case of food, the use of preservatives. Also, avoid countries of origin that do not adhere to the same safety standards. I.e. China has a history for products that tested high in lead and plastics laced with Bisphenol A.
It can be hard to find the information on how products are manufactured, but it is worth the effort to do a bit of digging. What are the facilities like? How much energy do they use in production? Do they give back to the environment, or the community?
Many of us assume that products are made in environments similar to where we work - reasonable compensation, supportive management and colleagues and good working conditions. Apparently not. Do your best to ensure the products are made in a sustainable manner. Are the wages & working conditions fair? When products are manufactured abroad, does the company support fair trade and fair labour practices in the manufacture and production?
Ingredients (or components)
Take a look at what's in the products you purchase. Are the ingredients in your cleaning and personal care items organic, non-toxic and safe? (Recognizable terms are better). Avoid plastics when possible since they have high chemical use in production and even recycling eligible plastic requires significant energy consumption. Select products that are harvested in a sustainable manner, for example bamboo, hemp, or organic cotton. Consider recycled content in paper products like towels, tissue paper, notebooks, etc... Is the packaging recyclable?
Life Span of the Product
Strive to purchase things that will last. While a deal is tempting, think of quality workmanship and longevity of the product. Where possible, avoid single-use products (i.e. plastic water bottles) and opt for a reusable choice. How does the product affect the environment when in use? I.e. can the detergent be used in more energy-saving cold water and is it biodegradable so it won't affect the water table? When disposing of a product, is it easily recyclable? Could it be repurposed elsewhere or donated?
You may not be able to address all of the criteria when selecting products, and we all know that life is a series of trade-offs and choices, but hopefully it gets easier to make the green ones.
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Over the ages, being eco friendly has taken on a lot of meanings. There was a time when you were eco friendly if you just stopped using paper. But the definition of eco friendly products definitely changed over the times. In more recent times, if you used predominantly natural products, or their derivatives, you were using eco friendly products. However, today, the definition has broadened more. Today, you are eco friendly not just by using eco friendly products, but also by taking care that the environment is not harmed in any way by the way you are using these products.
Though the meanings have changed, the basic essence remains the same. We have to be friendly to the ecology. And what does ecology mean? Ecology is a broad biological term that encompasses the various interactions different plants and animals have with each other. Our earth would not have survived if these relations did not exist. Thus ecology becomes the basic supporting system of the planet, whether it is the ecology of the Pacific Ocean, of the ecology of a rotting tree stump in a forest in Ghana. These are all parts that make up the all-important whole.
And that is why we need to go in for eco friendly products today. By doing so, we are using products that are all natural and non synthetic, and not just that, we are taking care that our environment is not harmed in any way. Replacing internal combustion engine vehicles by electric driven cars is one way we are trying to do this. Putting solar panels on the roofs of our houses is another way. Farms in most European and American houses that are using the power generated from windmills is yet another superb manner in which we are becoming eco friendly.
But we need not think eco friendly products are always big and expensive. There are various small things that we can do at our own level to become eco friendly. Just using only as much electricity as we want or recycling all paper that we use or not allowing the faucets to drip are all ways that we can implement in our homes. Though these are not eco friendly products per se, they are acting for the same purpose. They are also helping us to protect the environment by saving the exhaustible resources that exist in it and that way they are helping us to secure ourselves and your succeeding generations for the future.
But we can use completely eco friendly products and provide our contribution to the environment too. We can use solar cookers for example. We can use only cotton and linen and not those synthetic materials that look flashy but do nothing to protect our environment. We can put our own household mini-bans on using plastic and buy products of friendlier materials such as paper and cardboard. There are hundreds of things that we can do to be harmonious with the environment. It is all in taking the first step!
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